When the Electoral Finance Act was debated in Parliament last year, Labour, the Greens and NZ First tried to take the moral high ground in justifying the extreme restrictions on freedom of speech imposed by the legislation. Yesterday, Annette King, either wittingly or unwittingly let the cat out of the bag as to the REAL motivation behind the reforms to our electoral laws - this from Hansard (my emphasis added):
"Hon Bill English: Can the Minister confirm that the Electoral Finance Act was put together by Labour as a way of punishing its critics, that it was done so badly that all parties in this House, including her own, are struggling day by day to work out how to comply with it, and that the only exception is that Labour members believe they are above the law and should not be referred to the police when they break it?
Hon ANNETTE KING: First of all, the Labour Party does not believe it is above the law. I suspect that the National Party does, because it has had this material on its website since 12 January this year; the public can get it off the website, and it is not authorised as an election advertisement. Secondly, the Labour Party did not bring in the Act to regulate other parties in this House. The Act was brought in to address the old rorters across on the other side of the House, who were busy with their fingers in the pockets of big business, trying to buy an election, and who were caught out by very good detective work by the Green Party."
So there it is for all to see. The Labour Party rammed through the EFA solely to nobble National. The Greens, NZ First and Jim Anderton were parties to this deception. It is marvellously ironic then, that Labour should be the first party to fall foul of its own dishonesty.